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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Locker Room Banter (NOT)

A real locker room talk

Seems that lately “Locker Room Banter” is dominating the news media and it makes me wonder where I’ve been growing up.  Enough people are coming forward to attest that that is exactly how men behave when women (and/or young ladies) are not around.  One person I saw in the news went as far as to accuse the female reporter: “that is exactly how women behave and talk over a glass of white wine.”

I tried to recollect all the occasions when I found myself in a locker room or office setting with male friends outside of the hearing range of women, and was unable to come up with anything that compared to the locker room banter presently in the news.  I do remember where one coworker tried bragging about his caveman approach to women, and I and most of the males in the room walked away and eventually shunned that person from our gatherings.

There is the one time where I unwillingly became involved in a prank (played on me) that went so bad as to almost break up a marriage.  I was on my third year into a mid-management position with one of the larger corporations in its industry.  The business was linen supply, and we handled the supply of linens to hotels, and restaurants, as well as, industrial uniforms to auto dealerships, gas stations, hospitals, etc., etc.

I was already successful enough to indulge in my passion for muscle cars.  If I must be honest I loved the second glances that my car got everywhere I went.  One day after work I was driving home on a beautiful sunshiny summer day (beach resort town in California), when I stopped at a crosswalk to let people have the right-of-way.  The people at the crosswalk were staring at my car and laughing almost hysterically while pointing at the front end of my car.  It bothered me so much that as soon as I could I pulled into the parking lot of a Frosty Freeze to see what it was they were pointing at.

I couldn’t believe what I saw, hanging from the front license plate was a very large bra (I don’t really know bra sizes) but it was abnormally large.  I quickly removed it and put it in the trunk of my car to try to determine who at work would have done that to me.  It’s not at all unusual to see men’s and women’s undergarment come into the linen plant with the bags of soiled (dirty) linen from hotels.  So I immediately thought of my coworkers.

The very next day at a coffee break one person quickly asked me if anything exciting happened to me when I got home.  Naturally I said no.  I asked should something have happened?  The Sales Manager couldn’t contain himself because he thought he was so slick, and that I would get in trouble when I got home.  He figured someone must have removed it before I saw it.  First chance I had I took that bra and placed it in the glove box of his car.  The sales manager (we shall call Larry) was a very nice almost shy kind of person.  He loved and feared/respected his wife and they had a little girl about 3 years old.  His wife was a high level bank executive, and dressed like Jackie Onassis (gloves included).  The car Larry drove was an Avocado green Ford Gran Torino.

The months went by and nothing was ever said about the extra-large bra so I assumed that like me he just got rid of it and moved on.  Approximately four months later I heard while on a coffee break that Larry and his wife were separated and getting divorced.  I went to Larry immediately and told him that I had just heard about the separation.  I asked him what the cause might be.  He explained that he didn’t know but that his wife was accusing him of messing around without providing him with proof.

I went directly to the bank where his wife worked, and asked to see her.  After about a 20-minute wait I was escorted to her office.  She greeted me very professionally, and I wasted no time in telling her that she was making a big mistake in divorcing Larry.  She explained that while she appreciated my attempt at intervention, she didn’t involve outsiders into her personal affairs.  I asked her if her separation was brought about by a lacey large black bra placed in the car of his glove box.  She reacted with anger in her facial features, and asked me how I knew.  I explained how the whole incident started with a prank being played on me.

Since she hadn’t told her husband the details of her suspicions, she knew that he and I couldn’t have shared information.  To make a long story short Larry and his wife made up but I lost a possible friend since his wife prohibited her husband from socializing with me because I was such a terrible influence.  My lesson at that early age was that acting like school boys playing pranks could have life changing outcomes.  As far as I know Larry never even found out about the large bra that I placed in his glove box.  Boys will be boys is not a good enough excuse for misbehavior or even locker room banter. The best is yet to come….